Big Company CEOs Make Almost 200 Times Their Workers

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24/7 Insights

  • A recent analysis shows that, across the S&P 500, CEOs made 196 times what their workers did last year.

Each year, there is a list of public company chief executive officers who make several hundred times as much money as their workers. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requires these corporations to compare CEO pay to the median compensation of all their workers. For 2023, across the S&P 500, CEOs made 196 times what their workers did.

This year’s Equilar | Associated Press CEO Pay Study showed that pay across the 500 CEOs rose 12.6% to $16.3 million. In most cases, the largest part of pay packages are stock options. The authors wrote, “In line with the average CEO pay package, stock awards made up approximately 70% of total compensation in 2023.”

The highest-paid CEO on the list was Broadcom’s Hock Tan at $162 million. The highest-paid woman was Lisa Su of AMD, who earned $30 million. Of the 341 CEOs in the study’s universe, 25 were women. Female CEOs did well. “Overall, the women in this year’s study were awarded a median pay package of $17.6 million in 2023, 7.7% more than the index median,” the report states.

The debate over whether CEOs should make so much more than their workers will continue as long as the data is available. Occasionally, shareholders have tried to get CEO pay onto proxies, hoping that shareholders will revolt. It virtually never happens.

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